Are the Huskies for real? The team is in first place in the Pac-12, riding a three-game win streak and could possibly push their conference record to 5-0 if all goes right this week in Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington is coming off of a road sweep in the Bay Area with victories against California and Stanford. A win against the Buffaloes would give Washington its fourth 4-0 start to league play in 35 years.
Colorado (11-5, 1-3) at Washington (11-5, 3-0)
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
Seattle, WA. -- Alaska Airlines Arena
8:30 p.m. PT
KJR 950 AM & 102.9 FM
Colorado's offense consists of a balanced scoring attack with all but one of their starting five averaging double digit scoring. Sophomore guard Askia Booker is putting up close to 15 points a game while sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie is chipping in 14.4 points a game as well.
However, the team's best player is NBA prospect Andre Roberson. The junior is averaging 10.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Also in the frontcourt is freshman Josh Scott who stands at 6'10 and is providing a scoring punch at 13.4 points per game. Finally, senior guard Sabatino Chen rounds out the starting five.
The gameplan against the Buffaloes is fairly simple; play great defense and control the glass. Rebounding becomes paramount in a game featuring one of the nation's best rebounders, Robinson. Washington shot a horrid 36.8% in their win over California last week, but won because of their rebounding edge.
Aziz N`Diaye and Desmond Simmons will both grab their rebounds, but it is even more crucial for the pair to rebound well this time around because the Buffaloes are 25-6 when Roberson collects 12 rebounds or more. At the same time, N`Diaye and Simmons have to defend well against Roberson and Scott. In the past two games, N`Diaye has been great at staying out of foul trouble, allowing the him to be a defensive force who can disrupt and block shots in the post.
In terms of the Huskies high post offense, it looks like the team is finally getting into a groove on the offensive end. Of course, preceding a good offense is a great defense. The more the Huskies can pressure the opposing team and force more turnovers, the less of a priority the high post offense becomes. In other words, the Huskies still want to run and still want to push the ball up the court.
In the half-court, upperclassmen C.J Wilcox and Scott Suggs should continue hunting uncontested mid-range and three-point shots. Wilcox, the Pac-12's reigning player of the week is putting up 21.3 points, leading the Pac-12 in conference scoring.
My confidence in this team is growing. After three road wins, the Huskies are finally starting to form its identity as a basketball team. The Buffaloes have been struggling as of late, and I don't see them pulling off an upset in Seattle over a hot Huskies team.
Prediction: Washington 64, Colorado 59